05/19/2004, 00.00
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Miracle healing gets canonization and conversions

Iloilo (AsiaNews) – The miraculous healing of a Filipino infant girl of severe bacterial meningitis through the intercession of  Italian-born priest  Hannibal di Francia made way for his canonization Sunday May 16th and brought others to a deeper conversion to God.

Charisse Diaz is now a healthy 11-year-old Filipina, but was diagnosed with a severe form of meningitis affecting several of her organs six days after her birth in Jaro, Iloilo, southern Philippines. Treatments were not available, and in desperation her parents turned to prayer. "I religiously said the short prayer to Blessed Hannibal while I tended to the needs of my baby,"  Charisse's mother, Dr. Zarah Diaz said, having been introduced to Blessed Hannibal and given his relic by her mother-in-law. The devotion to the holy man continued through the child's fifth month. By then, she was completely healed.

The miracle on the child has affected many. Her mother, a graduate of a Catholic school run by the Religious of the Assumption, said that prior to the event, she practiced her religious duties as any normal Catholic. " But after the cure of my daughter, my faith  in God increased. This miracle clearly shows that with God, nothing is impossible," her mother stated.

Doctor Ludovicio Jurao, the infectious disease specialist who had treated the infant stated, "This miracle on Charisse has affected my old view on how I approach my faith as a Catholic."

Italian Father Bruno Rampazzo, Major Superior for the religious Order started by now-Saint Hannibal, the Rogationists, remarked that fellow religious asked why the miracle for their founder's canonization occurred in the Philippines, and not in Italy. "Probably we did not receive this grace because, maybe, the faith is weak. You have a stronger faith here in the Philippines, and so the Lord granted this miracle through Blessed Hannibal" he stated during a press meeting at the Bishops Conference.

Archbishop Angel Lagdameo of Jaro said, "The significance of the canonization of Blessed Hannibal is the Pope's recognition of the continuing need for more vocations to the priesthood. To the Filipino people, this canonization of Blessed Hannibal, Patron of Prayers for Vocaation, is significant, because the Philippines is a great supplier of priests and religious in many parts of the world."

The Congregation of the Rogationists originated in Italy and spread to several other countries in Europe, United States, Brazil, Argentina, Rwanda, India and the Philippines. (SE)


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